We'll start the day off with some bad news. Dust Devils' OF Jaron Shepherd's X-rays came back positive for a broken fifth metatarsal (pinky finger) in his right hand, putting him on the disabled list indefinitely. Shepherd was ready for a big year after being one of Tri-City's top hitters during their playoff run last season. Best wishes for him on a speedy recovery.
More bad news: SS Zach Osborne, who made his professional debut last night in the Dust Devils 2-1 loss, took a bad-hop grounder in the face during infield practice today and was sent to the Emergency Room for observation. Witnesses who saw the incident say he was bleeding profusely after getting hit. He could have a slight concussion, but let's hope it's nothing more than a minor cut.
The Dust Devils should pray bad luck doesn't come in threes.
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Here we go with the first pitch on another gorgeous day at Gesa Stadium. It's Tri-City RHP Josh Slaats going up against Everett RHP Mayckol Guaipe.
AquaSox score two runs in the second off Slaats, who looks a little uncomfortable out there. He's throwing and awful lot of pitches and getting into a lot of hitter's counts. He's pretty lucky to be down just 2-0. There were two runners in scoring position when he struck out Janelfry Zorrilla to end the inning.
I had him at 22 pitches after one inning and then 55 after two. Pitching coach Dave Burba came out to visit him after Jamodrick McGruder singled in Ketel Marte for the second run.
Slaats was replaced by Chris Dennis in the third.
Former Washington State first baseman Taylor Ard doubles for Everett to lead off the third inning. He advanced to third on a flyball to center by Alfredo Morales and came home on a groundball by Patrcik Kivlehan to make it 3-0 AquaSox.
Francisco Sosa puts Tri-City on the board with a two-out solo home run in the fourth, cutting the lead to 3-1.
Three innings later, Jordan Ribera draws a bases-loaded walk with two outs against AquaSox reliever Marcos Reyna to cut it to 3-2.
Still, the Dust Devils aren't hitting well with runners in scoring position. Last night they were 1-for-10. Tonight not much better at 0-for-7 (so far).
But in this ballpark, if you're pitching well you can still be in a game even if you're not getting many runs across.
Tri-City doing a good job of scrapping back into this one, getting another run in the eighth to tie it at 3.
Sosa hit a one-out single in the eighth, stole a base and then scored on a two-out bloop single down the left field line by Michael Ramirez.
Everett gets the final word.
Marcus Littlewood singles off Taylor Reid to lead off the top of the ninth and gets sacrificed over by David Villasuso. Marte then singles to send Littlewood to third. Reid then strikes out McGruder and looks like he could be out of trouble before Chris Taylor fights off a 3-1 fastball on the outside part of the plate and singles to the opposite field, scoring Littlewood and Marte to put Everett back up 5-3.
AquaSox win it 5-3, but there's a silver lining for Tri-City: the entire East Division got swept by the West for the second consecutive night, so the Dust Devils are still tied for first place.